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Google Maps ditches misleading walking calorie counter

18 October 2017

While the feature was not groundbreaking in innovation, having been built into other mapping apps such as Citymapper for a while, Google googl has had such "strong user feedback" that the calorie estimator will no longer appear in Google Maps for iOS, according to TechCrunch.

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But it was a secondary feature in the walking directions that led to the controversy: in addition to displaying the calories burned, it converted them to mini cupcakes. A number of users criticized the feature on social media, calling it judgmental and potentially triggering for those with or recovering from eating disorders. "One mini cupcake is around 110 calories", stated the app. As Google Maps' explainer put it, "the average person burns 90 calories by walking 1 mile". Men are seeking help for eating disorders now more than ever-here's how one guy overcame an eating disorder that almost killed him.

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Interestingly, prior to the outcry, many on digital health Twitter were applauding the move as one that could demonstrate some of the prevailing ideas in the space about behavior change - namely that subtle nudges from the tools consumers already use are an effective motivational strategy. Plus, if you're looking to get or stay in shape, you can also check out our roundup of The 25 Best Fitness Apps of 2017. Because of this, many feel that Google's update was inconsiderate of those who deal with eating disorders and the emotional fallout that can be revived by ostensibly well-meaning features such as these.

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The feature first started to roll-out to users on iOS about a week ago. "Now you can visit these places-along with many other planets and moons-in Google Maps right from your computer".

Google Maps ditches misleading walking calorie counter